on reading – librarians vs. writers

I’ve been blogging less because I’ve been reading more. One of the things to catch my attention lately was The Lion and the Mouse (printable), a months-old piece from the new Yorker about Anne Carroll Moore, the woman who “more or less invented the children’s library.” At the same time as she was opening up libraries to and for children, she was also exerting her considerable power over what books got purchased at NYPL at elsewhere. The essay concerns

the end of Moore’s influence [which] came when, years later, she tried to block the publication of a book by E. B. White. Watching Moore stand in the way of “Stuart Little,” White’s editor, Ursula Nordstrom, remembered, was like watching a horse fall down, its spindly legs crumpling beneath its great weight.

It’s a wonderful read; even though the librarian in it is wincingly marmish and pretentious, she’s also well-read and driven. It’s a great look at an imperfect person in an imperfect profession with some bonus trivia about Stuart Little in there for good measure. Please consider reading it.

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